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AUTOSTAR FEEDBACK
Last updated: 29 February 2000

Welcome to the Autostar feedback page. This page is intended to provide user comments on using the Meade Autostar, cables, and the Autostar updater software. See the Autostar Info page for information from Meade and other users on the Autostar, cables, and software. Send your comments and tips to etx@me.com. Remember, tips described on this site may invalidate the warranties on your ETX and accessories. Neither the submitter nor myself are responsible for any damage caused by using any contributed tips.



Subject:	 Autostar 2.0g errors
Sent:	Monday, February 28, 2000 15:17:29
From:	rmariotti@excite.com (Carrie and Ron Mariotti)
In response to this message below from "Stantastic," I, too have
experienced the exact same error message as described. Any help would be
greatly appreciated.

I recently purchased a DS-90 and bought the Autostar #495 upgrade. It
was at version 1.2.  The telescope had a mind of its own! Alignments
failed, it would wander off, etc.  Meade told me to upgrade to 2.0, so I
did. Well, guess what, a little better, but wandering still occurred.
Now I have sent them my Controller and both Drive Motors. They claim
that there are hardware incompatabilites between an "old" Autostar unit
and the "newer" drive motors. We'll see.

Great site! I finally found a place that has the support I've been in
need of.

Is there a way to search the message base for keywords?

Thanks,
Ron Mariotti
Gainesville, VA

----------------------------
Subject:	Re: Autostar Guided Tour Info
Sent:	Wednesday, February 2, 2000 11:07:17
From:	Stantastic@aol.com
Hi, Kevin...

I've got a couple of questions about your post regarding the "Tours"
download (found in Mike's "Autostar Info" section (I already tried these
steps two weeks ago when the software was first posted):

1) Before you even get to your step (1), when you first connect the
Autostar and begin the updater program, does the software automatically
grab the "currently" loaded Asteroid, Comet, Satellite, and Guided Tour
data from the handbox -- or do you get the following error message?:

Library file C:\Program Files\Meade\Autostar\Autostar
Update\Ephemerides\LibAsteroid.ROM, couldn't be renamed from C:\Program
Files\Meade\Autostar\Autostar Update\Ephemerides\QQTempLibFile.ROM
--disk full?

I keep getting the above error, am forced to click "OK" and as a result
nothing is loaded into the first THREE positions, but the Guided Tours
ARE correct.

2) When you execute your step (7), "Send to Ephemerides," is the ONLY
thing sent to the handbox JUST a single item  marked  in the Guided Tour
section?

Whenever I clicked on "Send to Ephemerides" all of the data in the
Asteroid, Comet, Satellite, and GT sections were sent (and since the
first 3 contained zero elements due to the initial read error, those 3
ended up being empty in the handbox, but the GT's loaded okay).

I think I'm going to try this whole thing again (gag!!!) (for about the
6th or 7th time now) and see if I can get it to work (just one guided
tour at a time) -- since 3 tours seem to get loaded from the 2.0g
firmware, I'll try to load the other 2 again. Also got a new "Comet" TLE
from Meade's web site, and will try to load that as a single item.

This may all be a mute point if/when Meade introduces the next rev...

clear skies...

Stan Glaser
stantastic@aol.com
Mike here: There is a search capability; see the Search link at the top of the menu on the left. It is somewhat limited but does work.

Subject:	 comets files for autostar
Sent:	Monday, February 28, 2000 10:24:19
From:	frf@infonie.fr (frf)
I have buy a 90 etx with 497 autostar.He is fantastic I have download
the files for update it but the rom for comets,asterod are 0kb size
Please can you tell me where can i download then or someone can mail me
at frf@infonie.fr
thank you very much and long life to your site (famous !)
hello from France.
Mike here: I just downloaded the Comets file from Meade's web site. It was 16K. Click (right-click on Windows?) on the link and do a Save As to save the file on your disk.

Added later:

I have try that but the file is in text mode and have .cmt extension i
have try to drag&drop it to the comet button but the program crash when
i try to send to the autostar. please can you mail me the file in rom
format ? i wouldn't take too of your time but it would great if you
could do that thank you very much
Mike here: The file IS a text file not a ROM file.

Subject:	Autostar version
Sent:	Sunday, February 27, 2000 23:02:59
From:	MrSchmoo@aol.com
May seem like a simple question, but how do you quickly check which
version of Autostar software is presently loaded.  Also, which is the
recommended version, considering some of the problems I have read about
(namely "drift" in v2.0)

I assume I log onto Meade's site to upgrade.  Have you addressed this
process in your site?  If so, can you give me a reference.

Many thanks,

Mark Klesman
Mike here: When you power on the Autostar you will see (briefly the short version number). To check the full version more leisurely, go to the Statistics menu. As to the recommended version, some users have had good success with the current one although more seemed to like 1.3c. The download instructions are available on Meade's Autostar Update page (linked from the Autostar Information page).

Subject:	 Hitting endstops with Autostar
Sent:	Sunday, February 27, 2000 21:54:43
From:	tim@otis.mv.com (Timothy J. Otis)
I just added an Autostar unit to my ETX-90 last week, it has software
version 1.3b installed on it.  I set it up as instructed, trained the
drives, aligned it properly and tried to take a guided tour.  The scope
seemed to track the wrong way to an object and hit the hard stop and
kept trying to proceed.  This happened a couple of times. I tried to
call Meade, but they were "unaware of any such problem with version
1.3".  They advised a reset and reinitialization which I have done, but
it has been cloudy since so I'm not sue if I was successful.  Is this a
common problem wit the autostar? If so is there a fix?

Also, I am a Mac user although I can run Windows on it, so I should be
able to update the software.  Is there a cable to connect a Mac to the
Autostar?

Thanks!  Your site has been great help with choosing accessories for the
scope and for general information.

Tim Otis
tim@otis.mv.com
Mike here: See the Autostar Information page for info on updating the Autostar using a Macintosh. As to hitting the stops, it sounds like you may not have set up to the HOME position properly. See the "ETX and Autostar Alignment Tips" also on the Autostar Information page.

Subject:	 ETX keeps slewing
Sent:	Sunday, February 27, 2000 19:14:41
From:	dvderek@prodigy.net (Derek)
Hi ,finally got a chance to get the ETX out lastnight. I started with
Alt/AZ Align two star. I still had some problem with keeping object in
the field of view with the 26mm and I was Syncing along the way. Also,
It seemed whenever I would center a object, and then take my finger off
of the arrow button the telescope would then take off and the object
would no longer be in the center. Once it stopped moving objects stayed
centered. I did the drive training and I think my home position is OK.
Any ideas why it keeps moving after I center a object? Still using Ver
1.3
Thanks, Derek
Mike here: Are you waiting for the BEEP that occurs when the Autostar "thinks" the slew is complete before pressing any key on the controller?

Subject:	New Autostar software?
Sent:	Thursday, February 24, 2000 20:18:36
From:	Stantastic@aol.com
I was just sittin' here thinkin' (gettin' in trouble again!)... We
haven't seen any new updates from Meade for quite a long time now, even
though there was an apparent promise of version 2.1 a few weeks back
(which still hasn't materialized (kind of "Star Trek"ie there, huh?))

Which makes me hope that the reason it's taking so long is that they're
trying to fix all those problems we've been complaining about and are
going to put out a real great update that actually works!!

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha --- gotta wake up here -- I think I must be
dreaming....

clear skies (well, we had ONE last night, anyway)...

Stan Glaser
stantastic@aol.com
Mike here: Seems like software delivery "promises" are usually never kept. As to "clear skies", not here! I still haven't been able to use the new ETX-125EC.

And:

Subject:	 Re: New Autostar software?
Sent:	Thursday, February 24, 2000 21:35:42
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Dick Seymour)
Stan asked [editted]: where's Autostar v2.1?

Historically (all twice that i've seen), they've had a two-month release
cycle.

So, although i "worried" that they'd come out with one whilst i wuz on
vacation, i suspect that it really won't happen until March 15th.

Beware the ephemerIdes of March, as they say...

--dick

Subject:	 Serial Cable Pin-Outs
Sent:	Monday, February 21, 2000 22:10:12
From:	bob.kregel@hksystems.com (Bob Kregel)
I'm looking for the pin-outs to make a serial cable to connect my laptop
to the Autostar for my ETX-90EC. My PC has a 9 pin connector. I have
searched your site and found information regarding the part numbers for
connectors and cables but have been unable to find the actual pin-outs.
I assume that you use pins 2, 3, 5 on the 9 pin connector but I do not
know which pins do they connect to on the handset jack? I'd appreciate
it if you could point me in the right direction.

I recently purchased my ETX and have found your site to be quite
informative. Thanks for your help,

Bob Kregel
Milwaukee, WI
Mike here: Would you believe: it is on the Autostar Information page under the Cable information links.

Added later:

Thanks for your prompt reply. I checked out the site and it looks like
it will answer any question I may ever have. I can't believe I couldn't
find the site myself. Oh well, thanks again.

Subject:	 Autostar Serial Cable Pinout Diagram?
Sent:	Monday, February 21, 2000 10:22:24
From:	scott@clausen.net (Scott Goodman)
Love the ETX site... someone told me I could find the wiring pinout to
make an autostar to PC cable on the site, but I have not been able to
locate it.  If you know where it is, please mail me.

Thanks a bunch.

Scott Goodman
Laser/Electronics Technician
Clausen Instrument Co.
Raleigh, NC
Mike here: Would you believe: it is on the Autostar Information page under the Cable information links.

Added later:

Thanks Mike.  Was one of those Mondays I guess.

On a related subject, I tried a 25' LAN Network cable last night as an
extension between the ETX and Autostar with no success.  I'll look
around your site now that I've been enlightened.

Thanks again, and clear skies!

Subject:	Autostar Control with The Sky Level II
Sent:	Saturday, February 19, 2000 22:33:32
From:	Ottocycle@aol.com
Here is my experience with Software Bisque's downloadable
Autostar/NexStar patch which let's The Sky v5.0 Level II (Windows)
remotely control the scope via the 497's serial port:

The Sky invokes a setup "wizard" to:

1) Warn you about looking at the Sun for the umpteenth time.

2) Verify Autostar 497 firmware version (1.3) or later.

3) Verify motor training status (gotta have smart motors).

4) Establish the serial link. (Anybody thinking about Palm Pilot here?)

5) Sync up date, time, lat, long etc.  Very important to have local
sidereal time match the 497's....had to cheat with 1 minute increments
to The Sky's clock.  Accurate alignment would make this unnecessary.

6) Remote control established via cross-hair on PC display.

8) Display another warning about the Sun causing thermonuclear
blindness.

7) Click on new object to highlight cross-hair > move scope with slew
icon.

Fun to play with indoors or out...can even program custom sky tours.

Clear Skies - Ottocycle [This message also posted on egroups meade-ds
board.]

Subject:	 Re: kep editing by hand
Sent:	Saturday, February 19, 2000 10:24:35
From:	n5yyx@etsc.net (James Lofton)
Sorry about the long delay!
I agree with you that most users don't bother to get the most out of the
system. I was only making noise about those of us that "try" to get the
most out of it, and find that the "math", if you will, in the AUTOSTAR,
falls short on its end. Don't take me wrong. I do like the ETX/autostar,
but so far I havn't seen it live up to the spit and polish ads and write
ups I read. I've owned Meade products for over 20 year$, so feel I have
earned a small right? to mouth my disapointment some. I have no thought
of getting rid of it I might add!

Thanks.

James
Mike here: Re: the comment about living up to the hype. Does anything? From any company? Marketing is meant to sell products. Tech Support has to deal with the realities of the products.

Subject:	 Re: screen savers and Autostar
Sent:	Friday, February 18, 2000 21:15:54
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Dick Seymour)
Oh, font of all ETX specifications,

Ya know? the time-out dim-down feature is even listed in your
ETX/Nexstar comparison table.
http://www.weasner.com/etx/etx-nexstar-specs.html
Look for the word "backlight".  (i -knew- i'd read it somewhere)

--dick (dimly)
Mike here: Sometimes information overload gets the best of us!

Subject:	 screen savers and Autostar
Sent:	Friday, February 18, 2000 07:43:38
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Dick Seymour)
Yes... there is a screen saver
(well, battery saver)...

As Al reported, after a number of minutes the LED display will fade to
black if you don't push anything.

I've had it happen a number of times across the 1.3 versions of the
firmware. (some of my tests run for hours (indoors), and it always
drifts to dimness during them).

Since the Autostar has a separate LED for each of the buttons, plus four
or so for the readout, it could help when you're on batteries.

---dick (yes, he's back)

Subject:	 Autostar blanking
Sent:	Thursday, February 17, 2000 21:08:14
From:	jchalfen@goldengate.net (John Chalfen)
Just read the post about the Autostar blanking and pressing a key. I
would have to do some digging to find it, but I do remember a passing
mention either in the original Autostar pamphlet or on Meade's site
about the LCD dimming to conserve battery power.

Mine usually dims (it may go blank depending on the brightness and
contrast settings) between 10-20 minutes. I just got so used it that it
became normal (can I say that for an Autostar?) for me. Cold weather has
some effect on the Autostar, not sure how low it can go. Living in the
upper midwest I've used mine pretty chilly. Sometimes not sure if it's
me or the Autostar acting up tho'. May have to take it out one day when
it's near 0 and see if it works after 30 minutes or so.

--------------------------------------------------

--TIA and TTFN       (Don't forget to wear your peril sensitive
sunglasses.)
--Sometimes I think that the surest sign of intellegent life on other
planets is the fact that they havent tried to contact us yet.  (Bill
Watterson, Calvin & Hobbes)

jchalfen@goldengate.net
jchalfen@aol.com (I know...I know...)

Subject:	 Re: kep editing by hand
Sent:	Thursday, February 17, 2000 11:06:36
From:	n5yyx@etsc.net (James Lofton)
As always, thanks..., and you amaze me by your endless help!

Seems that it is something the autostar does, or seems to do, but not
well enough to really waste ones time with it...?? To me at least, it
either will point at and track, or it won't. I don't think they should
say it will, when it indeed won't.(fun to watch it "pretending" to tho)

I clipped the following from what you had mentioned to another person
with the same problem.

"Mike here: I suspect that the precision that the Autostar uses is
sufficient for its accuracy"

Isn't this kinda like saying, "you're not that good a carpenter, so you
don't need an accurate tape measure."? To me, if you could load the
correct keps into autostar, then atleast it would have a fighting chance
at being correct. Sure seems to me that they have a long way to go
before they reach the spot that their advertisements say they are.

NEWS FLASH....Just got a call from Meade (they heard from my dealer of
my problem)and I will report back as they report back to me on this.
Nice to know they are trying!!

I also think I'll drop Dick a line to see what he has arrived at.
Thanks!
Mike here: My statement on accuracy was meant to include the whole ETX-Autostar system. Since most users will not go to the trouble of getting that perfect polar alignment or be certain that BOTH alignment stars are in exactly the same position in the eyepiece when confirmed, the system accuracy will be degraded somewhat. Combined with the inexpensive drive mechanisms in the ETX (compared to the LX200 series, for example), you have a system where precision is limited.

Subject:	 kep editing by hand
Sent:	Wednesday, February 16, 2000 14:10:08
From:	n5yyx@etsc.net (James Lofton)
Hi again, this likely has been covered before, but was unable to find
it.

I have been unable to update my keps by hand. By that I mean, I am not
able to enter them correctly. It seems that AUTOSTAR has certain "field
sizes" that one can not change. That is understandable in a data base,
but some of the kep data is more numbers than AUTOSTAR will allow put
in, while other fields are longer on AUTOSTAR and I have to just "zero"
it out to the end. I feel that this is causing the error in the track.

Am I missing something here? Can someone explain how this entered
CORRECTLY via one at a time.?
Thanks,James
Mike here: Check the "Satellite Tracking" info on the Autostar Information page. I think this has what you are looking for.

Added later:

Unless i'm looking right past this, I just can't find anything about
DOING it. It does mention GOING to a place that will tell how, but it
isn't there. Just the section about SETUP.

To enter an individual element into the Autostar, follow the
instructions in the online Autostar Manual.

This is the place where you SHOULD be able to click on "instructions" to
get there. When I do, it's a blind alley.

I'm beginning to think the same guy also writes a maze game! :-) I did
find "again" where Meade says they have a software version of epoch
2000, called "jr". No where else have I ever seen it mentioned, and my
dealer has never heard of it.

An interesting thing happens when I entered the ISS keps by hand today.
The scope starts tracking, then reverses directions for a couple of
seconds, then reverses again but faster now(as to catch up), only to
reverse 3 or 4 more times before the path is over. I guess I should find
all this amusing...?, but I don't. Something tells me I havn't begain to
have fun.
Thanks.
Mike here: Oops. Sorry about that. Check the November 1999 Autostar Feedback page (in the Feedback archives) for Dick Seymour's message "adding elements and links". Maybe that is what you are looking for.

Subject:	 Autostar in cold temps
Sent:	Monday, February 14, 2000 17:52:04
From:	OptiquesJeff@worldnet.att.net (Jeffrey Nutkowitz)
Regarding the use of the Autostar in 'cold' temps, I can readily report
that I have used it numerous times in temps well below 32 deg f, and
even as low as 19 deg F., and have never had a temperature related
problem. There has to be something else wrong if there are problems with
it at temps like 38 deg. 38 degrees should be a virtual non-issue for
these kinds of electronic devices.

Jeffrey Nutkowitz/Optiques Classic Photographic Imagery
Freelance Outdoor and Nature Photography Emphasizing a 'Sense of Place'
http://members.aol.com/OptiquesJN

Subject:	 ETX AutoStar update to 2.0g
Sent:	Monday, February 14, 2000 15:53:11
From:	jbnjenny@io.com (Barnes & Davis)
So far so good.
Almost a month ago I updated my ETX firmware and have been waiting for a
clear night. First night I could try, I broke the dec shaft (quickly and
unquestionly replaced by the local scope store).
My scope is a 90mm and has the deluxe field tripod. I mounted a Rigel
finder on the ETX (highly recommended). I run in Alt Az unless I'm
taking photos.
1 - I retrained the motors. No problems there. 
2 - I confirmed my location, it had "remembered". 
3 - Started to do alignment and the handbox stopped everything. I
thought I had hit a hardstop, but when I looked at the display it gave a
bunch of recommendations from batteries, to hardstop, to something in
the way, etc. Then it rebooted. Wow, I never saw that before. I checked
the items it noted and it must have been a voltage drop (I had been
doing some sun spotting during the day). Fresh batteries and we're off
again.
4 - For Easy Align it picked Sirius and Capella. Didn't do too good,
about 4 or 5 degrees away from either which is outside the Finder's FOV,
but is easy to pick up in the Rigel "bullseye". About as well as my
earlier version ever did. Centered the stars in the 26mm by defocusing
alot to get a big bright disk that is easy to center in the field of
view (FOV).
5 - Tried some stars: Alderbaran in FOV, Beltelguese in FOV, Rigel in
FOV, Regulus about 1/4 degree out of FOV, Sirius in FOV, and Mizar in
FOV. Made a return trip to all of these with the same success. Too much
light pollution to pickout the more interesting stuff.
NOTE - I always start looking when the slewing slows down and wait a bit
past the tone for the backlash of the gears to work out. I think pushing
the direction keys too soon, even when you see the target, messes up the
backlash (i.e. training) correction. Leave the AutoStar alone, let it do
the work.
6 - Tried the "Tonight's Best" and "How far is far?" tours. Not too bad,
would be good for someone new to the hobby or to prompt the leader of a
group. Didn't take "Tonight's Best" all the way to stars (where some
have reported problems). I had to press and hold the MODE key to get out
of the tour. "How far is far?" is short and ran fine.
7 - Temp was about 45 F, not too cold unless you had an 80+ F day (like
Austin had), and the handbox worked fine.

I'll try some more features and report what happens.
Overall -- I'm glad I upgraded.

My thanks to the Mighty Weasner for a great forum. 
Clear skies y'all.

Subject:	 Re: AutoStar and Blanking
Sent:	Monday, February 14, 2000 05:54:24
From:	afink@kaiserep.com (Fink,Al)
I read a couple of different posts this morning concerning the AutoStar
and blanking and most were concerned about cold or a faulty unit...I
have not seen anything in the manual about a screen saver but that's
what I would call it. I have found that when I set up on ...say the
Orion Nebula and just start tracking I'll walk away just to check how
long it will track properly, I'll return in about 45 minutes or an hour
check the scope sure enough the Nebulas right there where I left it
centered in my eyepiece just like it's supposed to be, but the Auto Star
will be blank...I just touch any of the menu keys, not a direction arrow
or it will slew...like it is supposed to do, and the screen will be
back, I'm. not much good with computers in general but I just took it
for granted it was just working like a screen saver, anyway it works
that way for me, maybe ignorance is bliss, maybe too many of us are so
used to things going wrong with the AutoStar we just conclude when
something is different it must be another bug. Why don't a couple of
others run a timed tracking test and see if their screens turn
themselves off when not touched for awhile...it may turnout to be a plus
especially if you are tracking a particular object for a couple of hours
like timing the changing positions of Jupiter's moons or such, just a
thought ...clear skies, Al
Mike here: There could be a screen saver (power saver) mode after a long period without touching the keypad. But there does seem to be some cold weather concerns as well.

Added later:

Oh, no doubt about cold weather concerns especially for those east of us
that live on the left coast. I was out at Joshua tree a few weeks ago 5
hour continuous at under 28 degrees nary a problem...but I was using a
power supply and not the eight AA batteries. But that was our cold, not
really cold to those who live where that would have been a warm high for
the day. Haven't had the opportunity to see at what point the electrons
freeze inside their copper homes.
Clear skies	Al Fink

Subject:	 ETX Accessories and more Autostar
Sent:	Saturday, February 12, 2000 21:51:47
From:	teb1013@hotmail.com (Thomas Brown)
Following through on my several posts on the "Autostar in the cold"
question, I had the unit blank out on me for what must have been the
seventh time.  Seeing that there aren't numerous posts about the display
blanking whenever it is a little cold, I must assume that something is
wrong with the Autostar.  Anyhow, I've returned it to Meade. Let's see
what they do.

Without the Autostar I set up the regular controller for equatorial use
[by removing the "A" screw]; and have been quite pleased with the
tracking using the field tripod.  My latest acquisition is the Kendrick
Kwik Focus.  This is a lens cap with three holes in it.  When the three
images merge into one, you're in focus.  Pretty useful in times of
mediocre seeing, so you don't have to endlessly fiddle with the focus,
and can wait for the moments of clarity. A low tech solution [you could
probably make one yourself pretty easily] which works well [Kendrick
claims that if the star images merge your scope is properly collimated;
glad to say mine seems to be]. The other low tech solution to the
miserable little focus knob on the ETX is using a clothespin as a
focuser extension, a great suggestion which someone on this site made
quite some time ago.  This works well enough for me so that I think I
can do without an electric focuser!

Tom Brown
Mike here:There have been a few reports of cold weather affecting the Autostar.

Subject:	Re: Polar Alignment menu
Sent:	Saturday, February 12, 2000 17:23:54
From:	Ronald08@aol.com
I know where the alt/az menu is, I just cant seem to find the Polar
Alignment menu
Mike here: When in the Polar Align mode, the star selection is the same process: one or two stars or easy. Does this help?

Added later:

Ohhh, okay, great, I'll try it out and notify you how it works, thanx a
lot!

Subject:	 cold WX AUTOSTAR..??
Sent:	Saturday, February 12, 2000 08:04:51
From:	n5yyx@etsc.net (James Lofton)
Just tried out my AUTOSTAR for the first time last night. Fresh set of
batterys and the outside temp was 41 degrees at start, dropping to 38 by
the time we came back in, LESS THAN ONE HOUR LATTER. Reason for coming
back in..: AUTOSTAR went blank. The drive was still tracking and I could
turn the power off for a minute, and then back on, and it would light
back up for 4 or 5 seconds.

Back in the house(10 min. warm up period)the thing worked perfectlly,
and the batterys showed to be 98%+.

Is this normal? There were "glows" coming from AUTOSTAR, but the display
was off. I would think that 38 degrees would not be considered too cold
for it.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

GREAT site! Whis I would have found it before this morning.

James, in the high plains of NM
Mike here: There have been similar reports. One solution that was offered was to keep the Autostar in a pocket. You could also use an electric or chemical "handwarmer".

Added later:

Like the site..., ?, I LOVE the site! I went back latter and spent a
little more time with it and what a weath of information you have there.
All that AND you actually answer e-mail!!

Thanks for the quick answer, even tho I was hoping the thing would
operate in colder temps.

Thanks again for a great site.

Subject:	 Autostar alignment
Sent:	Friday, February 11, 2000 15:01:33
From:	alfonso_gomez_m@hotmail.com (Alfonso Gomez)
Dear Sir,
Congratulations and many thanks for your most enjoyable site.

I want to ask your advice as I am very frustrated after several
unsuccessful attempts to use my ETX-90 with Autostar in the Chilean sky
(-39). According to the manual, it can be used in both hemispheres, but
althought I seem to follow every single instruction, I have not been
able to complete a successful easy alignment (and I think I am not that
stupid!) Is there a place where I can get higly detailed instructions
for this? Is Autostar currently capable of working in the Southern
Hemisphere?

I'll be most grateful for your help!

Alfonso

Subject:	 Autostar Firmware: drift after GOTO
Sent:	Friday, February 11, 2000 14:42:59
From:	Pierre.Henrotay@skynet.be (Pierre Henrotay)
To:	meade@engineer.com
Autostar Version 2.0G, ETX90-EC
Object drifts away just after being centered

Align in AltAz mode using 2 stars, then Goto an object.
A beep signals that the centering is complete and indeed the object lies
with the eyepiece FOV (1 degree).
BUT the scope does not switch immediately to tracking mode (which has a
quieter sound): the motors still grind, the scope continues to move and the
object disappears from the FOV within a few seconds; the object is now
between 1 and 2 degrees ways from the center of the eyepiece (in
vertical/Dec direction).
Try to bring back the object to the center using the handbox: just after the
object is centered and the arrow is released, the drift takes place again
and brings back the object to the outside.
The trick seems to be to keep in mind which direction the object moved to,
to wait a sufficient long time for the motors to be quiet, then to re-center
the object.

Subject:	Re: ETX Autostar Firmware Update Problems...
Sent:	Friday, February 11, 2000 12:33:25
From:	Stantastic@aol.com
Are you sure that you have the #497 Autostar model (for the ETX) and are
loading the ROM files for that model? The ROM files for the #495
Autostar have the same revision (i.e., 2.0g), but they are not
interchangeable. If I were you, I'd go back to Meade's web site and
double check to make sure you downloaded the correct set of files (it's
the 6th "paragraph" down in the download list, if that helps), starting
with:

ETX Autostar model #497 ROMS20g.zip (353,954 bytes)

Hope that helps,

Stan Glaser
stantastic@aol.com

Subject:	Re: Installing Autostar Update
Sent:	Friday, February 11, 2000 12:00:39
From:	Stantastic@aol.com
Walter Warren wrote:
<>

Yes, Warren, that's correct. As soon as you put the Autostar into
"Download" mode, the updater begins to read the current Asteroid, Comet,
Satellite, and Guided Tours data that is in the Autostar handbox. From
there, you can continue with the update...although, if you've read my
comments (and Dick Seymour's) on Mike's site about all the problems
we've been having, you might change your mind!!!! (Just a fair
warning...)

Stan Glaser
stantastic@aol.com

Subject:	 Versions
Sent:	Thursday, February 10, 2000 19:20:08
From:	paulrasm@execpc.com (Rasmussen)
I recently sent you a message regarding "drift" after installing
Autostar V2.0g.  I have not resolved the problem and noted another user
posted a similar problem.  Fortunately for him, he had a copy of V1.3 to
reinstall. For the other less fortunate such as myself who didn't
backup, is there a sight that I can download older versions of Autostar
such as V1.3?  Meade does not post older versions.  Meade asked me to
submit the problem via fax today, which I have done.  Perhaps they are
getting similar complaints as mine.
Regards,
Paul Rasmussen
Mike here: I'm not aware of an archive site. I'll see if I can get a copy of the original zipped file from Meade that I can post here.

Subject:	Polar Alignment menu
Sent:	Thursday, February 10, 2000 14:57:49
From:	Ronald08@aol.com
In the Autostar Alignment Tips page, it says that there are 6 modes of
Alignment.  I went into "align" menu, I selected One Star, and it had
given me a list of names of stars.  Is this the Polar Alignment mode? 
How do i get to the Polar menus???  Thank you again!

-Aaron
Mike here: You have to set the mount type (Alt/Az or Polar) first. That's in the Setup menu, I think (been awhile since I worked with the Autostar).

Subject:	 Autostart User Manual
Sent:	Tuesday, February 8, 2000 23:16:33
From:	atestani@ibm.net (Al Testani)
Jennifer Lohman asked in her "New ETX owner!" post about the Autostar
"user's manual".  I found it lacking as well, at least the small one
that came with the Autostar if that is what is still shipping.  The one
available for download from Meade's site is *a lot* better.

__________________

Al Testani
atestani@ibm.net
__________________

Subject:	 Installing Autostar Update
Sent:	Tuesday, February 8, 2000 21:00:43
From:	waltwarren@mail.com (Walter Warren)
Last November I tried updating the software in my Autostar #497. During
the process it crashed the Autostar so that it wouldn't restart and I
had a version without safe mode.  Meade was unable to repair it and
simply sent me a new one.  That new one just arrived with version 1.3b
software, and I'm considering trying to update again, but I'm a little
nervous about the procedure and hoped somebody could ease my nerves.

I downloaded and installed the newest updater, which placed .ROM files
into the ephemerides directory.  When I run the updater it sees the
Autostar plugged into my com port, but prompts me to put the Autostar
into download mode before the main updater screen ever appears.  So far
I've stopped at that point because I'm not sure that's correct.  I
expected the updater screen to first appear and let me click on the
button to send new software to the autostar.  Assuming it is doing it
right, will it actually take 20 minutes like the instructions indicate?

Can you ease my nerves about what should happen and when?

Walter Warren

Subject:	ETX AutoStar Firmware Update Problems
Sent:	Tuesday, February 8, 2000 19:37:05
From:	GAZERGREG@aol.com
Has anyone else reported this problem in trying to update the ETX
AutoStar firmware?

I have downloaded and installed the 2.0 Update Tool (which includes
firmware version 2.0e) as well as the autostar.rom and dbase.rom
versions 2.0g.

I have tried to upload the new firmware using both versions 2.0e and
2.0g of the firmware, and when I do I get the following error message
"Your AutoStar cannot upload this version of autostar.rom.  A non-ETX
Autostar is required to upload this version of the firmware."

TRUST ME I have downloaded the ETX versions of all files.  I have tried
it three times on two different computers with no luck.

Adding to my previous  e-mail, I am trying to go from version 1.0 to the
new 2.0e or g of the firmware.  Can you e-mail to me version 1.3---Maybe
I will have better luck trying that first, as most of the people on your
site seem to have started there.

Please help if you can.  Reply to gazergreg@aol.com

Subject:	Polar Alignment for the ETX 90 EC
Sent:	Tuesday, February 8, 2000 18:18:13
From:	Ronald08@aol.com
Hello again, I am not sure if you remember me but I had asked you
previously on aligning the telescope.  Well, I am having a much easier
time thanks to your helpful advice.  My next question for you is on
Polar Alignment.  I have the Deluxe Field Tripod and my latitude is 42
degrees.  So I positioned the angle to 42.  My question is in pointing
the telescope due north, I am supposed to point the northern leg of the
tripod north.  Where does is the telescope supposed to point?  Also,
what degree should it be on?  Is it supposed to be on the home
posistion?  Do I turn the telescope counter-clockwise, and then turn it
clockwise until it is over the computer console?  Also, I have the
Autostar.  What menu option do I go to in order to "Polar Align"? 
Thanks again for your time and considderation!!!

P.S.  I said a question, sorry it was multiple questions!
-Aaron
Mike here: Check the Autostar Information page on my site. There is a link to the Alignment tips page.

Subject:	 Autostar 2.0 Drift
Sent:	Tuesday, February 8, 2000 15:01:47
From:	Warren_Pugh-CFIN25@email.mot.com (Pugh Warren-CFIN25)
Well, the drift problem continues. 

I re-installed the old version 1.3 (glad I kept it in another
directory), retrained the drives, etc. No drift problem. So, I put
version 2.0 back in the Autostar, re-trained the drives, and the drift
problem returns. It does a reasonable job of parking the scope close to
the selected object, sometimes in the eyepiece, but mostly a bit outside
of it. But always in the finder scope. When I try to adjust the scope to
put the object in the center of the 26 mm eyepiece, it almost
immediately drifts to the right of the eyepiece. Since the objects were
Saturn/Jupiter ( in the South sky) it seems like the scope is
accelerating its RA motion. But once it gets to the far right side of
the eyepiece, it stays there.

All the above testing was done in the AzEle mode. As an aside, a couple
times over the weekend, the scope went into the "runaway slew" mode.

This Autostar was purchased last Spring, and has worked fine for 9
months. It seems strange that it would fail suddenly, leaving me
wondering if this is a hardware or software problem.

Anybody else seeing this drift problem?

Warren
Mike here: There have been similar reports with 2.0.

Subject:	 Sky Guides and electric focus for ETX90
Sent:	Tuesday, February 8, 2000 07:42:48
From:	billdean@home.com (Bill Dean)
I see some of your readers have run across the hassle of using the
electric focus and Autostar when taking a Sky Tour. I too struggled with
this little glitch for an evening and resorted to using the dedicated
focus keypad for tours and then switching the focuser cable back to the
aux port for focus with the Autostar handset when I'm done. Seems to be
working fine for me, switching "hot" that is, but of course YMMV.

Great site- thanks alot Mike. I wish I had run across it earlier but
even with the ETX90's many problems I still find it to be a great scope
for the size and plenty of fun too.

Keep up the great work!

Bill

Subject:	 RE: Autostar Firmware: MODE, Guided Tours and focuser
Sent:	Sunday, February 6, 2000 10:42:23
From:	OptiquesJeff@worldnet.att.net (Jeffrey Nutkowitz)
Hi

This is the kind of situation I was asking about with regard to using
the electric focuser via its own dedicated hand control. Until (and if)
the focuser sequence in the Autostar is consistent, this  is the kind of
'annoyance' that using the dedicated controller for the focuser simply
avoids. So far, though, this particular one seems only to have been
reported when using a tour.

And thanks to everyone who replied to my previous posting regarding the
focuser. So far, I have not even had a chance to install it, let alone
use it, and I am still using v1.0c !! of the Autostar, in which the
focuser sequence is not the best, from what I understand.

I have plans to give my little ETX its 'one year tune up' so to speak,
making all changes I have been planning, and putting off for assorted
reasons, pretty much all at one time...adding and aiming the 8x25 Right
Angle Finder (I dread this, as those little plastic set screws, and the
cramped locations of them, are hell to work with), installing the
Electric Focuser, updating the Autostar and retraining drives (something
else I have dreaded...I have been getting quite satisfying results from
the admittedly buggy original v1.0c, have been able to work around the
few bugs I have encountered, and I have had no desire to fix something
that is not really broken), and giving it a workout, trying the
different configurations for the Focuser controls, trying my hand at
writing and uploading my own tours, and so on.

Jeffrey Nutkowitz/Optiques Classic Photographic Imagery
Freelance Outdoor and Nature Photography Emphasizing a 'Sense of Place'
http://members.aol.com/OptiquesJN

Subject:	 Autostar Firmware: MODE, Guided Tours and focuser
Sent:	Sunday, February 6, 2000 05:27:29
From:	Pierre.Henrotay@skynet.be (Pierre Henrotay)
To:	engineer@meade.com
Version 2.0G
Select one of the Guided Tours
Use the arrows at bottom of handbox to select one object (this takes a
while)
Goto that object
Now try to use the electric focuser via the Autostar, by pressing MODE
for a few seconds instead of getting the prompt from the focuser, you
get back to the list of tours !
Quite inconvenient: to select the next object from the current tour, you
have to reenter the whole sequence again

Subject:	 Autostar Firmware: events incorrect
Sent:	Sunday, February 6, 2000 05:27:22
From:	Pierre.Henrotay@skynet.be (Pierre Henrotay)
To:	engineer@meade.com
Version 2.0G
Sunrise and Sunset, Moonrise and Moonset are still all wrong: for
Lat 50 deg 35 min N
Lon 5 deg 50 min E
TZ +1
no daylight saving
Feb 6, 2000

Autostar gives:
sunrise 8H10 should be 8H04
sunset 17H30 should be 17H38
moonrise 8H27 should be 8H43
moonset 18H19 should be 18H40
(form WinEphem and Skymap Pro, +-1 min accuracy)

Funny: for moonrise and moonset, the results of the Autostar depend on
the TIME entered in the handbox !!!

Subject:	 Autostar
Sent:	Saturday, February 5, 2000 19:34:22
From:	wardnmarcia@4dvision.net (Ward & Marcia Bates)
Here's the problem I have run into and need help. My computer has a
9-pin serial interface which is being used by my mouse. Next to it on
the same board is a 25-pin serial interface. I placed a 25-pin to 9-pin
adapter on the 25-pin serial adapter. The only way that I could get my
computer to recognize the 25-pin port was to change the BIOS settings on
the Internal Peripherals from Auto to COM1/3f8 and COM2/2f8. This
allowed the software to recognize the Autostar but that in turn disabled
my modem. I successfully upgraded my Autostar to 2.0e (or it appears
that everything was successful). My question is, does anyone have a good
explanation about COM port settings. Why am I only seeing two com ports
in my BIOS but three in my Control Panel\System/Device Manager. Right at
this point it is possible to change between Downloading the Autostar or
using the modem by changing the BIOS settings from "Auto" to one of the
above port settings.  Ward

Subject:	Version 4.0 Drift
Sent:	Saturday, February 5, 2000 10:41:32
From:	WarrenPugh@aol.com
I'm having the same problem as another fellow reported a few days ago. I
installed the new 4.0 update and I DID retrain the drives. When I GO-TO
an object and make the fine adjustment to center in the eyepiece, it
just drifts out of view, almost like it's being "pulled". Even if I
manually slew to an object (Jupiter) it won't stay put. The drift is
much faster than normal RA. The object is "pulled" to the right of the
eyepiece.

So, just to make sure I wasn't dreaming, I reinstalled version 1.3. The
problem goes away. I went back to the standard hand controller and
changed to Polar mounting, and the scope tracks just fine. Does this
sound like a hardware or software problem?

Thanks for the continued great job on the site.

Regards,
Warren Pugh, KC9IL
Mike here: Boy, did you throw me a loop! I frantically went to Meade's update site to check for 4.0. Only 2.0 was there. Typo or did your email get thrown out of its normal timestream??? Anyway, check your location/date/time/mount settings in the Autostar. If they are incorrect you'll get drifting. If they are OK something is wrong. You might try reloading the upgrade.

Added later:

You are right, it was version 2.0. Typo on my part.
I will try to reload and double check everything. 
Thanks for the quick response.

Subject:	 Autostar
Sent:	Saturday, February 5, 2000 10:35:46
From:	chrisrs@sti.com.br (CHRISTIAN)
I'd like to know if someone could send me the original Meade files for
Autostar: Libsatellite.rom, Libasteroid.rom, and Libcomet.rom. I lost
all of then when I was trying to learn how to use the "fantastic",
"bugless" last version of Meade Autostar Update.

Thanks,

Christian 
chrisrs@sti.com.br
Mike here: I guess there is a lesson here: back up important data (i.e., the Autostar data) before doing an upgrade. Applies to almost any software application upgrade.

Subject:	ETX-LibAsteriod .rom file empty
Sent:	Thursday, February 3, 2000 17:22:59
From:	DBousquet@aol.com
Like many others I too am having difficulty with the upgrade.  However,
I have not had any serious problems with the exception of somehow losing
all my asteriod data.  The libasteriod.rom file is 0kb in size.  I was
wondering if you or someone else may be able to e-mail the file to me? 
I was able to load the new software and tour files, but not asteriod
data.

I am a real fan of the site it's excellent.  Keep up the good work!!

Subject:	Re: Autostar Guided Tour Info
Sent:	Thursday, February 3, 2000 10:51:41
From:	Stantastic@aol.com
well, I finally did it -- 

deleted all Meade software from VirtualPC and reloaded it and started
from scratch -- WAS able to read in all the "current" data from the
Autostar -- then tried to drag-and-drop one tour at a time and see what
would happen. Each time though, instead of completing the "compile," it
hung. Restarted the program and found that the tour DID get inserted
into the library. Went ahead and did a "Send to Ephemeredies" and the
NEW tour (along with ALL the OTHER data files -- Asteroids, Comets,
etc.) got sent to the Autostar. Repeated the entire process two more
times (including the software freeze) for the other tour, and a new
Comet TLE file that Meade posted --

so, even though the software hung, froze, and had to be restarted
through each step, I DID eventually get everything loaded -- but it was
NOT a fun trip!!

Hope the next rev cleans up some of the mess...

BTW, it is "sorta" fun trying to figure all this stuff out (but I really
feel sorry for the novices who have to deal with software that's buggy,
a new telescope, sometimes a new computer, etc. -- and all at the same
time -- some people don't know how to connect the handbox to their
computer, the cables don't work -- it goes on and on...)

take care...

clear skies...

Stan Glaser
stantastic@aol.com

Subject:	 tonight's batch sent to engineer@meade
Sent:	Wednesday, February 2, 2000 22:46:20
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Dick Seymour)
Three in one here:

===================
Autostar #497, ETX90/EC,  Windows 95, Updater A-2.0 (Jan 14th, 2000),
lotsa disk and ram...

In the Satellites, Tours, Asteroids, Comets... if i have "deleted" an
item... please provide a button which really -does- remove them forever
from the libraries.

In the Sat,Tours, Ast, Comets: Please provide a 
button. Using the drop-down list to individually add thirty satellites
is very, very painful.

In the Satellites (and probably Comets)... many of the sub-dialog (or
Alert) boxes refer only to Asteroids.  It's

confusing.  If i'm dealing with Satellites, please call them that.

There's also an alert box in there with three "eee" s in the midst of a
mispelled word. (it's some word with "ed"  added to it, and i'm not
going back in there to find it...)

Give me an -obvious- button which causes the [download Ephemerises to
Autostar] button to appear. There are times when i -want- to send the
Ephemerii, and i do NOT want to have to "edit" something (which wasn't
broken) in order to make that button appear.

It would seem that the only way to get the "Save User Datablock
(yes/no)" dialog box to appear is to download a new program. Why?  I'd
-like- to save it almost anytime i'm preparing to do battle with the
Updater, since the Updater keeps managing to lose my User data.

How's about edit/load/download mechanisms for Landmarks, User Objects,
etc., similar to what you provide for Sats, Comets and Asteroids?

Sincerely (really! still!)
========================================
Request: an LX200-dialog (i.e. rs232 to Autostar during -normal-
operation (not Download)) method of adding Satellite (and Asteroid and
Comets and...) TLEs.

They can go in either ASCII or binary, that's not important.

But it'd be handy to not have to "put the Autostar at risk" to simply,
easily, add a few TLEs.

so it'd be (hypothetically)  #STMIR,2000,025.12345,57.0925,etc:
(ST=Satellite Tle)

thank you in advance

====================================================

When entering/editing/whatever Satellite TLEs, how's about making the ID

number (such as Mir's 16609) one of the recorded/displayed fields?

I realize you're trying to minimize type-in load, but there are many
satellites with multiple names, and the numbers would keep 'em
organized.

It would also allow the Updater to recognize duplicates and request/take

appropriate action.

An example is Lacrosse 3, also known as USA 3. Its ID number is 25017
... but, possibly because it's a "spy" satellite,

it doesn't even appear in NASA's Visible TLE file... but it's frequently

better than 3rd magnitude and, in a near-polar orbit, a handsome pass
overhead here in Seattle.

My current workaround for this is to include the ID number in the Name
(hence MIR 16609). But that doesn't help when i drag-and-drop bulk TLEs
into Updater. Updater (at least) could help by having the ID number as
one of the visible fields.

(there's probably a similar Asteroid number, too)

thanks
--richard seymour
206-xxx-yyyy
(except for the next two weeks)(i want it all fixed when i get back...)

Subject:	 Re: Autostar Guided Tour Info
Sent:	Wednesday, February 2, 2000 22:13:12
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Dick Seymour)
Kevin and Stan were corresponding:
These are quotes from Kevin's answers:

> (1) I used to get that error message, but don't anymore, and I don't know
>     why. Regardless, this has not caused a problem using the utility for
>     whatever purpose intended.
>

I suspect that the error message arises from one of two areas:
 (1) the first time it runs, it's trying to rename a file.
      But if the file doesn't -exist-, it can't rename it.
      The second time through the file -does- exist, and everything's happy.
 or, conversely (with an experiment for you to try at home! (not you, Mac-Mike))
 (2) the file -does- exist... and the Updater is trying to rename another file onto
that existing name.
     DOS/Windows don't let ya DO that!.
     Experiment: in WindowsExplorer, or DOS, create two disposable files (one.txt
and two.txt).
       Now, try renaming one.txt  to two.txt.   (by clicking in Windows, or the
RENAME command in DOS).
       It won't let you.
Again, once the Updater program has gone through a full cycle, the
what-should-be-called-what
 has gotten hammered into the shape it wants, and further attempts to confuse, er,
download the Autostar
  proceed without that particular error reoccurring (unless, of course, one blows
it all away for a Kevin-style clean new dash towards the brick wall...)

Simple.  And not caught in MEade-alpha-testing because their systems were already
"polluted" with the hammered files due to previous attempts.

>
> (2) Any file sent to the Autostar should also have  next to it,
>     then "APPLY CHANGES" should prep those "marked" files to be sent,
>     before clicking "FINISHED". Then click "Send to Ephemerides Data".
>     Although I seem to recall that sometimes only one marked tour will be
>     sent at a time. Just keep trying until you see all of the Guided Tours
>     on the Autostar.
>

One of my gripes with the Satellite sections is that you have to  each
satellite -individually-.
Egads... there can be hundreds of them.
Even the "thirty" TLE file gets very, very tedious using the stupid drop-down menu
to  each one.

At least there are only a few Tours.

>
> Hope that helps. The utility tool is still bug-filled, in my opinion, so
> what I describe may not work for everybody. One more thing - I've started
> from scratch many times by totally overwriting the utility tool by
> reinstalling it. But remember, when you reinstall it, you will get version
> 2.0e if you do not REPLACE the autostar.rom and dbase.rom files from
> Meade's web page, which when loaded using the tool will then give you 2.0g.
>

Yes... i still can't believe they haven't brought the "complete kit" to v2.0g.

--dick

Subject:	 autostar #495
Sent:	Wednesday, February 2, 2000 20:11:48
From:	msarrafi@voicenet.com (Mike Sarrafian)
Not sure if you can help, but this is a start.  I have a DS-127-EC with
the Autostar #495.  I upgraded the firmware (A2.0) and loaded the new
database (2.0g), I think?  I level the scope and set it to it's home
position (pointing to true north).  I begin the Easy alignment and it
finds Sirius okay, a slight centering and we're there.  It then slews to
Aldebaran, ok.  No error with the alignment.  Then I 'goto' the Orion
constellation and it missed it by 10-20 degrees.  I misses it so much it
goes west (left) past Sirius.  Then I 'goto' Sirius and it has no
trouble finding that or Polaris.  Any ideas about what I'm doing wrong.
Surely it can't be the Autostar!  Any help would be appreciated.

Mike
Mike here: Have you retrained the drives since upgrading? Added later:
That's the one thing I haven't done.  I even set the correct Long/Lat
for my location, thanks to MapBlast.com.  I'll give it a try and let you
know what happens.  I just joined the local astronomy club and we meet
this weekend, maybe someone there can offer some insight.

Your website has been useful, even though it's geared toward the ETX.

Subject:	 Autostar Update File Problem
Sent:	Wednesday, February 2, 2000 14:42:32
From:	pcaesar@devcor.com (Caesar, Paul)
I am having the same problems as Stan with several error messages in a
row about not being able to rename files in the Ephemerides directory.
So, I can't add or edit items. Does anyone know of a way to communicate
successfully with Meade? All I can get is voice-mail.

Paul Caesar
San Diego, CA
Mike here: Fax (949-451-1460) can also work. To report bugs use engineer@meade.com.

Subject:	 Re: autostar
Sent:	Wednesday, February 2, 2000 11:57:18
From:	berg@ans.net (Kevin Berg)
First you need to download each tour file from Meade's web page to your
hard drive, then drag/drp the file from there.

On Wed, 2 Feb 2000, dsiegel wrote:
> Read your note on Weasners site- a question remains--Drag and drop from
> where? Do you use the Windows explorer? Thanks, Drew

Subject:	Re: Autostar Guided Tour Info
Sent:	Wednesday, February 2, 2000 11:07:17
From:	Stantastic@aol.com
Hi, Kevin...

I've got a couple of questions about your post regarding the "Tours"
download (found in Mike's "Autostar Info" section (I already tried these
steps two weeks ago when the software was first posted):

1) Before you even get to your step (1), when you first connect the
Autostar and begin the updater program, does the software automatically
grab the "currently" loaded Asteroid, Comet, Satellite, and Guided Tour
data from the handbox -- or do you get the following error message?:

Library file C:\Program Files\Meade\Autostar\Autostar
Update\Ephemerides\LibAsteroid.ROM, couldn't be renamed from C:\Program
Files\Meade\Autostar\Autostar Update\Ephemerides\QQTempLibFile.ROM
--disk full?

I keep getting the above error, am forced to click "OK" and as a result
nothing is loaded into the first THREE positions, but the Guided Tours
ARE correct.

2) When you execute your step (7), "Send to Ephemerides," is the ONLY
thing sent to the handbox JUST a single item  marked  in the
Guided Tour section?

Whenever I clicked on "Send to Ephemerides" all of the data in the
Asteroid, Comet, Satellite, and GT sections were sent (and since the
first 3 contained zero elements due to the initial read error, those 3
ended up being empty in the handbox, but the GT's loaded okay).

I think I'm going to try this whole thing again (gag!!!) (for about the
6th or 7th time now) and see if I can get it to work (just one guided
tour at a time) -- since 3 tours seem to get loaded from the 2.0g
firmware, I'll try to load the other 2 again. Also got a new "Comet" TLE
from Meade's web site, and will try to load that as a single item.

This may all be a mute point if/when Meade introduces the next rev...

clear skies...

Stan Glaser
stantastic@aol.com
And:
From:	berg@ans.net (Kevin Berg)
Responses to questions:

(1) I used to get that error message, but don't anymore, and I don't know
    why. Regardless, this has not caused a problem using the utility for
    whatever purpose intended.

(2) Any file sent to the Autostar should also have  next to it,
    then "APPLY CHANGES" should prep those "marked" files to be sent,
    before clicking "FINISHED". Then click "Send to Ephemerides Data".
    Although I seem to recall that sometimes only one marked tour will be
    sent at a time. Just keep trying until you see all of the Guided Tours
    on the Autostar.

Hope that helps. The utility tool is still bug-filled, in my opinion, so
what I describe may not work for everybody. One more thing - I've
started from scratch many times by totally overwriting the utility tool
by reinstalling it. But remember, when you reinstall it, you will get
version 2.0e if you do not REPLACE the autostar.rom and dbase.rom files
from Meade's web page, which when loaded using the tool will then give
you 2.0g.

Kevin

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